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Video Friday: Dancing Robots, Sumo Robots, War Robots, and More

It's Friday, and we've got a big bag of miscellaneous robot videos to share with you

2 min read
Video Friday: Dancing Robots, Sumo Robots, War Robots, and More

It's been a little while since we've cleaned out our robot video backlog, so here you go, a gigantic steaming pile of awesomeness in the form of six more or less entirely random robot videos that we've made a special effort to choose. Just. For. You.

"No Robots" — Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful short films I've ever seen. It maybe even made me tear up a little bit. Maybe. Just don't tell anyone, okay? Watch:

Via io9

 

23rd All Japan Robot Sumo TournamentThey put together this nice highlights vid, but if you don't want to watch the whole thing, check out 4:55, where the winner of the R/C bracket takes on the winner of the Autonomous bracket. I won't spoil it, but it's awesome:

 

Happy Robotic New YearIn celebration of the Chinese New Year, we've got a robotic dance troupe performing on what has to be one of the most impressive stages I've ever seen:

PS: Do you know the name of the robots in the video and who makes them? Post your answer in the comments section below and if we can confirm that you're right we'll send you an exclusive Automaton t-shirt.

 

Machines Have Beautiful SoulsOr I guess maybe not, if you believe this 1963 film made by Jim Henson (yes, thatJim Henson) for AT&T (known back then as Bell) as part of an "elite seminar for business owners:"

 

Eight Years On MarsOpportunity (Oppy to her friends) is celebrating her eighth year on Mars. I'd tell you how many days past her original 90-day warranty that is, but I can't count that high: 

 

Fault Lines From Al Jazeera comes this excellent feature (I might even say "gripping") on how robots are shaping war, with input from people like Ron Arkin, P. W. Singer, and Peter Asaro. Oh, and CHARLI puts on an appearance too. It's 24 minutes long, but entirely worth your time:

 

And if you're still hankering for more robot videos, some random blog called Hizook has picked out every single TED Talk about robots and put them all on one eminently browse-able page. Well, this is actually just part one (with about 20 talks), and there are still like 50 more out there too... I imagine Hizook will bring you those after you've made it through this first batch. Check them out here.

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The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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